Mr. Jon Velie is a successful attorney as the President of Velie Law Firm and CEO of Online Visas.
The legal beagle from Oklahoma is awarded by the United Nations. The acclaimed documentary By Blood features his several decades-long crusade for justice of Seminole and Cherokee Freedmen.
Nowadays he works towards building a healthier relationship between law firms, big companies and foreign nationals by incorporating artificial intelligence solutions which can facilitate more successful and quicker results at more affordable rates.
Mr. Velie however doesn't limit himself to a typical 9 to 5 corporate lifestyle. After his office hours, he remains active in the community as a veteran rugby coach, a talented author and a family man of books, music and barbeque hangouts.
In this candid chat the multi-faceted lawyer who is an avid reader of New York Times opens up about his personal journey, professional success and all things America.
According to you, what is the meaning of being an American?
America, unlike other countries, is not built on a race, religion, or culture, but it is built on individual rights that stem from our constitution that was written by the people, for the people. Americans can be born or naturalized and all of us should enjoy these rights and our government is bound to protect these rights. An American is a person with a shared system of legal principles.
Do you feel that the American dream is still alive and possible?
Absolutely, yes. The American dream is alive and well. Anybody can make it in America. Not everybody does. Our country provides some of the biggest access to money, opportunity, religious freedoms and cultural identity in the world.
What are your opinions about the outcome of the 2020 US elections?
I think that America was under a great deal of risk to enter an authoritarian regime but showed through the power of vote that the majority could curtail a significant risk of potentially losing our democracy.
Why did you decide to make a foray into immigration law?
I was on a rugby tour in New Zealand when the game of rugby went professional. I helped one of my teammates win the first green card as a rugby player.
What daily challenges do immigration attorneys face, and do you feel it is worth it?
Inconsistencies, delays, and sometimes arbitrary decisions. We must continuously hone new strategies to deal with the creative approach immigration officials have had towards adjudicating or even denying cases. I absolutely feel it is worth it. It is one of the most gratifying jobs I have ever had because we are helping people achieve their dreams and help American companies employ the best and brightest from around the world to lead their prospective industries.
What is your advice to fresh law school graduates who dream of starting their own law firm?
Do something you love and can be passionate about and it won’t work. Be meaningful and make change for the better. Enjoy the process and become a more succinct writer and speaker.
How did you make it possible to blend Artificial Intelligence technology in the domain of law?
I have been intrigued by AI because I thought it could accomplish two goals. First, it helps attorneys become more consistent and better by delivering knowledge to them through technology. Secondly, by being more efficient, we could save time by automating process flow through an AI process called Robotic Production Automation (RPA).
Do you think AI can thrive without colonizing human jobs?
Yes. AI, like any other technology, should not take the place of people, but help people do their jobs better.
How does rugby help you in coping with daily stress and challenges?
Rugby taught me teamwork, hard work and toughness. These principles help me to bear any challenges that I face without being afraid of them.
You have written an Amazon bestseller, what is your secret to "thinking like a writer"?
As an immigration attorney, my job is to tell the story of an American company and its desire to hire a foreign national and that foreign national’s story. Storytelling and all writing should capture the reader and help persuade them to make the best decisions. Storytelling is the secret behind our success and it, with the use of case law and authority, is the distinguishing feature of our service as opposed to other immigration attorneys.
What is your philosophy for building a productive day at the office?
We start with asking everyone on our team why they are happy. By doing this, we encourage them to think of the positives in life before they go into the stressors. Our firm and our company share a collective “why”. That is, we deliver dreams. What it means, is that everybody that touches our case from administrators to finance to case managers to lawyers understand that there is a human being that has a dream and we need to do everything in our power to help them achieve it.
What heartbreaking challenges did you face in life that required a lot of staying power and how did you overcome them?
The toughest thing that I went through was my divorce and the impact it had on me and my children. However, through those tribulations, we grew closer as a family and I have now blended with my wife and her children for an even better environment for all of us.
How growing up in Oklahoma influenced you?
I had two major types of life in Oklahoma. Living in the country as a kid and living in a university town in high school and after. Those two experiences helped me understand that people can strive to be friendly and education is the tool to success.
What inspired you to pursue the cause of Seminole and Cherokee Freedmen persistently for more than twenty years, free of cost?
I was first introduced to that case one month after passing the bar in 1993. The situation was so egregious that I felt compelled to do something. I would have to state that my combined representation of the Cherokee and Seminole Freedmen and helping them get back into their respective nations was one of the most meaningful actions I have been able to do.